Although Esther shared her stomach bug with half the family (ugh!), we somehow managed to have a great weekend.
Gideon's "Wind & Words" party was an exercise in lazy parenting. With the exception of the Etsy cake toppers, the decorations came from found objects around the house - vintage children's books, twine, and Esther's hair bows made to look like kites that I hung around the rented venue, a wooden yurt on a nearby farm. All invitees were at Gideon's request, as was the food: ants on a log, carrots, chips, watermelon, sparkling water, and a gluten free cake. I made the latter (from a pre-fab mix - couldn't be bothered to invest $10 in Xantham Gum...) only because I didn't hear back from the local cafe who could have whipped up some gluten free yumminess. It was unfortunately not windy enough for kite-flying, but the children loved having the books each brought to share read out loud on the beautifully-lit second story of the yurt. Among these, "Grandpa's Tractor," read by "Poppy," or Theron Toler, was the highlight, as his and Gideon's names were substituted for the named characters in the book and the book characters even looked like Poppy and Gideon.
|The road to the yurt|
|ye olde yurt|
|upstairs - shhh - baby sleeping in a basket!|
|Check out these stairs!|
The next morning, Ingy's naming and blessing ordinance was beautiful. Lance - attended by my father John Updike, my brother Peter Updike, Wally Smalnik, Dan Rescia, and Richard Swett - stood in a circle and held Ingy while the ordinance was performed. Although the language of the naming ordinance is sacred, I think it appropriate to share the relevant content of the blessing portion here:
* Your family has been blessed by your presence the last couple of months.
* You are very loved by your father and mother and other family members - your brother and sister - and all around you.
* You are a special spirit, and your name is special as well, deriving from your grandmother and maternal aunt, each of whom have wonderful characteristics.
* Blessed to grow in knowledge and faith, and that your physical body can grow and function well.
* Blessed to love the scriptures and prayer.
* As you choose to keep the commandments of God and use your free agency to choose the right, you will gain happiness in this life and the next.
* If you so choose, you can make the decision to be married in the temple and have children of your own.
* Continue in the plan Heavenly Father has given us.
|my papa and this babe really bonded|
* Gideon's manipulation skills have reached new heights: "The Lord told me to ...[do whatever naughty thing he is doing.]"
* Gideon's scripture "reading": "The Lord will smite the children of men - do you know what smite means?"
* Esther's scripture reading: "The children take the baby..."
* Esther will entertain herself in her crib, often for up to two hours, before she sleeps. Frequently, she will have her little dolls in bed with her and will carry out their activities, from eating, sleeping, and going potty. Even if it is completely dark and she has no toys, she will find a way to entertain herself by singing or role playing.
* Esther is learning her colors and numbers - not by any specific teaching on my part (though we will ask what color something is at random) - she just loves figuring things out and follows Gideon's example. I find it all amazing.
* When Esther's had an accident, she will say "bleeeeh!!" loudly as we clean it up. So funny.
* Ingy not only interacts, initiates, and has a whole baby "vocabulary" to communicate certain things, but can recognize my voice and possibly her name. She prefers mamma (is it early for that?), and is reaching for things, can make full 360 turns on her kick mat by pushing down with her legs on the floor, and can do quarter-half turns/rolls with her body. At 15 weeks, she's already gone through her 4 month sleep reversion (down to 7 and 9 hours a night), but is back to a consistent 10-11 hours a night - hoping for the solid 12 soon!